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Oct 9, 2006 11:42 PM

Cafe Boulud: how stuffy?

Girlfriend's 30th birthday is fast approaching, and I currently have a reservation for Cafe Boulud, but part of me wonders if it will be a little on the stuffy side? Will two young(ish) downtown rock 'n roll types feel like we're invading our parents domain? Don't get me wrong, we dress up nice, but the Upper East Side isn't a normal stomping ground.

Have also considered Cru, though my date doesn't drink and I know that a big part of the Cru experience is the wine.

Promise to write a review of wherever we end up (which reminds me, we were just at Blue Hill. Need to review that one!)


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  1. I've only been for lunch, and I would say it is not inherently stuffy, the restaurant was more populated by people the age of my in-laws, with whom we were eating, than us (just either side of 40). Jackets aren't required, but most men were wearing jackets. If I were you - and 30 - I'd go to Wallse or Veritas or Annisa.

    1. I went last year for my 34th b-day and it was not too stuffy....definitely not Soho dining, but not stuffy either. On a Saturday night it is buzzing with all types and ages. Lots of couples dining for a special occassion, regulars schmoozing with other regulars, DellaFemina was there when we dined. The service is great and I like how they have the menu broken out.

      With that, once was enough for me for a while..... with all of the other great choices in the city. We did go to CB in West Palm and although the atmosphere was superb...for the price the food was not memorable.

      If I were to choose an alternative for a 30th I might just choose Eleven Madison Park.

      Enjoy wherver you choose.

      1. I'd go to either Wallse or Eleven Madison Park. The one thing that I can't stand about Daniel Boulud's restaurants (all of them) is the snobby attitude.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ellenost

          I've not encountered a snobby attitude at his restaurants - and was particularly pleased by the hospitality shown to me recently when lunching alone at DB Moderne. I've been to Daniel and Cafe Boulud as well.

          1. re: ellenost

            We have never encountered snobby service at any of Daniel Boulud's restaurants. When we had lunch at Cafe Boulud a couple of weeks ago, our waitress couldn't have been nicer. In fact, when the couple sitting at the table next to us wanted to have their picture taken (obviously, visitors to NYC), she happily helped them out several times.

            Sometimes, people mistake a reserved attitude for snobbisness. We always treat servers at all restaurants in a very cordial manner, and I have found that that invariably causes even the most reserved server to be friendlier.

            1. re: ellenost

              As 23 year old in a not so great suit taking his 22 year old gf to a fancy dinner at Daniel, I was extremely pleased at how not stuffy it felt.

            2. I don't find the place stuffy at all, nor do I find the staff stuffy. The food is magnificent, and it is not entirely an older generation dining here. A 30th birthday deserves to be at a special place. If you like quality food, then dine here. You will not be sorry.

              If food does not matter at all, then I will suggest a few run of the mill places to you.

              Go to Cafe Boulud and enjoy!!

              1. I had a lovely meal there with my then-bf when we were both 22 and we didn't feel too young at all. And we didn't wear jackets. And the food was amazing, although that was under a different chef. The place felt almost casual, in an expensive kind of way, like this was the place to go on your private chef's night off.